Just how good are Sheffield’s mental health services?

The Care Quality Commission’s latest inspection has reported concerns over the quality of mental health services in Sheffield’s NHS Hospitals.

The inspection found that the safety and effectiveness of the provider requires improvement.

These recommendations were based on inspection findings, customer feedback, monitoring data and local information from the provider and other organisations.

The CQC said: “Staff used restrictive practices to manage patient’s behaviour. Some of these practices were not recognised correctly and were not handled in accordance with trust policy or the Mental Health Act code of practice.

“Informal patients were not all aware of their rights as patients and aware they could leave. There was no evidence to demonstrate they were aware of and had consented to any restrictions with regards to leaving the service.”

The report identifies specific areas for improvement, for example: ” On child and adolescent mental health wards, the trust must ensure that practices used by staff to manage behaviour such as time out and seclusion are used and recognised correctly.”

However, the mental health services were described as ‘well-led’ and ‘caring’ and has shown significant improvement since the last inspection two years ago.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals, said: “We had asked the trust to ensure that there were always enough staff on duty in the emergency department out of hours, with enough senior doctors in critical care and in general paediatrics.

“I am satisfied that the trust has addressed these issues, although there is some work still required in developing transition services.  We will continue to monitor the trust and we will return in due course to check on progress.”

World Mental Health Day was marked on the 10th October and aimed to spread awareness of those suffering. This has also drawn attention to the quality of mental health services in Sheffield.

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